We all use processed food from time to time. And although many suggest that I’s not the healthiest source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins, the dehydration process does extend the expiration date. The only reason we have an aversion towards it is because of the barely visible margin of error in the food processing industry that we’re all aware of. But what if you could do all this by yourself?
If you want to have different types of vegetables and food in general at your disposal during the whole year, then long term food storage must’ve crossed your mind. The best way is to dehydrate, or even desiccate food and then freeze it. So if the idea having a full menu throughout the whole year sound appealing to you, then you definitely should learn all you can about the long term food storage.
Luckily you’re on the right place to find out how to perform this process step by step and allow yourself to enjoy having every single type of food at your plate at any time of the year. If you’re vaguely familiar with the process of dehydrating and freezing food, you can jump to a step in the process that’s least familiar to you.
How is Food Preserved in a Freezer?
To understand how to preserve groceries on a long run, you must first learn how they get spoiled, presumebly that you’re not fully familiar with the process. Food spoilage is a process in which it decreases it’s quality to a point where it’s not edible for us, humans. For any precise reference about the chemical reactions and other effects that cause decrease in quality, you may inquire here. So how does it happen? Let’s explain it in simple terms.
Any fresh food whether it’s vegetable, meat, fruit, or dairy tends to spoil over time. This occurs as a result of an enzyme attack, microorganisms or mold appearance. And the only reason why this happens is because of the moisture and water it. Without water, food cannot get spoiled. You’re probably aware of the fact that dry food does not spoil, ever.
So being that water is a catalyst in this process of food spoilage, by dehydrating it, you’ll make the first step towards preserving your favorite groceries on the long run.
The other part of the long term grocery storage process is freezing it.
By decreasing the temperature below zero, you’ll stop microorganisms and chemical reactions from deteriorating the food quality.
Dehydrating Food Process
So now that we know how this process goes, it’s time to learn how to dehydrate it so we can freeze it. Technology allowed to improve our everyday actions, and it continues to do so. There are two ways to dehydrate your groceries. By dry airing it or by using dehydrators. If you’re not too fond of traditional methods of dehydrating food, you can always use dehydrators and achieve the same result.
If you haven’t thought about which model might suit you best, take a look at this list of top dehydrators currently on the market. So to start the process, you’ll first need to prepare your groceries. Be sure to dry it as much as you can before placing it in your dehydrator. Once it’s there, simply turn on the device and adjust the temperature to dehydrate it.
Depending on your model your will be able to desiccate or dehydrate your food. Some models allow your to dehydrate a variety of food types, while other only some. So it’s always advisable to choose your dehydrator model according to the type of food that you want to store on the long run.
Preparing your Freezer
Once you’ve successfully reduced the amount of water in your food to a bare minimum, it’s time to freeze it. However, there are a couple of things you must do before you can store your dry food in a freezer.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is clean your freezer and completely change the accumulated frost by defrosting it and removing the water. Improper food storage techniques may result in food spoilage thus contaminating the water in the freezer.
Next, make sure that you only use that compartment, or the whole freezer for the purpose of storing dry food only. Even though in a sub-zero temperature, different types of meat and vegetables that you store in the freezer might absorb fragrances of each other. So to avoid having mix flavored food supplies in your freezer, divide different food types with freezer compartments. You can even improvise and create a plastic barrier that will separate two different food types.
This way, whenever you want to consume that frozen vegetable or ingredient for your meal, it will still have its unique taste and smell no matter how long it’s been stored.
Defrosting Your Food And Preparing it For Consumption
There are a couple of methods for defrosting ingredients for your favorite meal. While some methods may seem less appealing, other methods of defrosting food go in according with the highest food preservation standards. The fastest method is, of course, using a microwave. It will defrost your groceries extremely fast, but it won’t be of the highest quality. Defrosting by placing it in a bowl with hot water is significantly better than using a microwave, but it will still affect the quality of your food.
So what’s the best way to defrost your frozen dry groceries?
Using cold water to gradually decrease the temperature of your frozen meat, vegetable or any other dry food item from your freezer is the safest way to do so. It will require you to change the water every thirty minutes, but once it’s completely defrosted, you’ll have the best quality ingredients at your disposal. Once ti’s completely defrosted, you can remove it from the plastic bag and use your culinary skills to process it thermally and make the best meal.